“What is this place?” asks a dad pushing a stroller down tree-lined 24th Street in the village of Noe Valley. He’s peering through a window at a case filled with two dozen rotisserie chickens, burnished legs waving in the air like they just don’t care. “It’s that new Australian-style chicken shop,” I’m delighted to confirm. He takes a second to drink it in. “Awesome,” he replies.
Village Rotisserie officially opened doors Wednesday, September 8. And though it is but a humble chicken shop, it’s sure to get a warm welcome from beleaguered parents, overworked tech personalities, and anyone else who would really rather not cook their own dinner tonight in Noe Valley. It’s now serving rotisserie chickens and fresh salads and sides, and you can either get them to go from the front counter, or slide through to the back and kick it under fringe umbrellas on stripy deck chairs.
Owners Priscilla Dosiou and Thomas Glenwright are a sister-brother duo who grew up in Sydney but now both live with their families in the neighborhood. They’ve hired chef Esteban Beas, who’s coming from Central Kitchen and Ryan Scott 2 Go Catering, to create both the new menu for Village Rotisserie, as well as to refresh the existing menu at their downtown cocktail bar Hotel San Francisco.
As promised, Village Rotisserie serves a simple menu of rotisserie chickens and fresh sides. Priscilla explains that while old-school Aussie chicken shops served their chickens stuffed and with plain vegetables, what Village Rotisserie serves is exactly what you might expect from a modern chicken shop in Sydney. These are local, free-range, humanely treated Mary’s chickens, first salted and air chilled overnight, then spun two dozen at a time on a Radiant 2,000 rotisserie spit imported from Australia.
Unstuffed, crispy, and juicy, the chickens are sold whole or by the half or quarter. A whole bird costs $26, with a couple of sauces kicked in, such as spicy peri peri or extra lemony mayo. Potatoes come either roasted in duck fat or as French fries. And while it’s not available yet, Priscilla promises they’re trying to source “chicken salt” — that seasoning that ideally includes actual roasted chicken skin, as well as garlic, onion, and other herbs — from Australia to sprinkle over (American imitations flunked the taste test). She recommends the broccoli salad with peas and quinoa, and a cool soba noodle salad with shredded veggies and sesame seeds.
It’s a whole fresh look for the former Le Zinc space, which went from a dim and intimate brasserie to a clean chicken shop, with light gray floors, warm woods, and terracotta tiles brushed with peach and aqua. Stepping inside, diners are greeted by the case filled with waving chickens and the takeout counter. Wind back, and there are eight tables to the left, and a counter with six stools to the right. The back patio centers on two fig and lemon trees, and there’s even more seating — nine white tables and two picnic tables — with striped deck chairs and fringe umbrellas from favorite Aussie brand Business & Pleasure.
It’s almost like a family barbecue on a sunny deck. “We wanted it to feel fresh and clean, and keep it uncluttered,” says Priscilla, who did the redesign herself. “And to have that village feel. That was very important. We want it to feel like a modern village.”
Village Rotisserie opened Wednesday, September 8. For the first week, opening hours are 3 to 9 p.m., for takeout, indoor dining, and outdoor dining. Starting the second week, normal hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and they’ll be adding online ordering.